Match ends, Lille 0, Everton 0.
- Everton stay unbeaten in Group H
- McGeady misses best chance in second half
- Howard keeps first clean sheet in Europe this season
- Barkley suffers early cut to face but plays on
Everton's Europa League ambitions remain on course after battling their way to a deserved draw in Lille.
Cheered on by more than 6,000 travelling fans, Roberto Martinez's men produced a well-organised and increasingly lively display against their French hosts.
Lille bossed the opening 45 minutes but Everton sprang into life after Romelu Lukaku's introduction from the bench.
Aiden McGeady missed the best chance but Everton will be happy with a point.
Toffees boss Martinez had warned his players that unlike the Premier league, with its pace and power, European games were more about tactics, "where strategy is important".
And the manager was right as the two sides started cagily and it remained so throughout, with the contest only opening up in the closing minutes.
Although it was not, for the most part, a wonderful spectacle, Martinez and his players will have few complaints about a result that puts them on course for qualification to the knockout stages.
Halfway through the group stage, and following an eye-catching 4-1 win over Wolsburg and a draw with Russian side FK Krasnodar, the Toffees top their pool with five points.
Martinez will have been pleased with the solidity his team displayed at the back in Lille, especially as the boss made six changes from the side that beat Aston Villa in the Premier League at the weekend.
Among those brought in were experienced centre half Sylvain Distin and midfielder Ross Barkley, the 20-year-old making his first start in Europe and his second successive appearance since recovering from a knee injury.
The England man provided some decent moments, despite playing much of the game with a bandage around his head following a nasty cut above his eye in the early stages.
There was little to get excited about in an opening 45 minutes where Everton's only effort on goal was McGeady's tame shot from distance.
Their French opponents were brighter but fared only marginally better in front of goal and they almost went ahead when striker Idrissa Gueye's shot from the edge of the area shaved the post.
Divock Origi, the 19-year-old signed by Liverpool in the summer and immediately loaned back to Lille, showed he has plenty of potential and came close with a curling effort from the edge of the box.
Lukaku's appearance as a 65th-minute substitute - replacing Steven Pienaar - coincided with the Toffees best spell, the striker sliding in McGeady with his first touch but keeper Vincent Enyeama - who played for Nigeria at the World Cup in Brazil, and kept 21 clean sheets for Lille last season - made a fine save.
Tony Hibbert, who has not scored in his last 323 appearances, had a shot blocked late on as the visitors finished the stronger of the sides.
The teams meet again at Goodison Park on 6 November, a game Everton go into a point ahead of nearest rivals Wolfsburg.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: "I was pleased in terms of players [six changes] coming in and performing to a high standard, but I think the pitch didn't help either side - I think with a better pitch, we would have seen a lot more brilliant attacking football from both. I think all-in-all a draw was a fair result.
"If you could measure the pleasure at the end of the performance, it would be at 50% because I thought we were fantastic defensively. But I did think we couldn't be ourselves - the condition of the pitch didn't allow us to take risks."
Lille boss Rene Girard: "We are satisfied to have been able to compete with Everton. Once again we lacked a goal to get a win, but I was really satisfied with the football we produced.
"Maybe Martinez and his team are used to playing on perfect pitches, on pool tables. Maybe it was a little bit rough. The conditions used to be better, but due to the weather lately maybe it was a little bit heavy. But I don't think it really disrupted the teams playing a technical game."
- 18BeriaBooked at 57mins
- 24MavubaSubstituted forMartinat 86'minutes
- 9RodelinSubstituted forMendes da Graçaat 73'minutes
- 20Mendes da Graça
- 17BesicBooked at 15mins
- 7McGeadySubstituted forAtsuat 82'minutes
- 20BarkleySubstituted forMcCarthyat 90+3'minutes
- 22PienaarBooked at 57minsSubstituted forLukakuat 64'minutes
- Manuel De Sousa
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Lille 0, Everton 0.
Substitution, Everton. James McCarthy replaces Ross Barkley.
Hand ball by Franck Beria (Lille).
Foul by Romelu Lukaku (Everton).
Pape Souaré (Lille) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Franck Beria (Lille) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Idrissa Gueye (Lille) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Lille. Conceded by Tony Hibbert.
Attempt missed. Samuel Eto'o (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Muhamed Besic.
Foul by Christian Atsu (Everton).
Idrissa Gueye (Lille) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Lille. Marvin Martin replaces Rio Mavuba.
Gareth Barry (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Divock Origi (Lille).
Foul by Ross Barkley (Everton).
Sébastien Corchia (Lille) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Everton. Christian Atsu replaces Aiden McGeady.
Attempt blocked. Tony Hibbert (Everton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Muhamed Besic.
Attempt missed. Idrissa Gueye (Lille) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.